Kerala special court frames charges against man accused of raping, murdering 5-year-old girl

A special court in Kerala on Saturday framed charges under various provisions of the POCSO Act and the IPC, including aggravated penetrative sexual assault, rape and murder, against a Bihar resident accused of abducting, raping and killing a five-year-old girl at Aluva here in July.

Ernakulam special POCSO court judge K Soman read out the charges, numbering around 15, to the accused — Ashfaq Alam — who said that he did not commit all of the offences he was accused of, special public prosecutor (SPP) Mohan Raj said.

At the same time the accused did not specify what offences he had committed, the SPP said.

“The trial will commence from October 4,” the SPP said.

The court framed charges against the accused under Sections 3, 4, 5 and 6 — which deal with the offences of aggravated penetrative sexual assault and penetrative sexual assault — of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act which carry a punishment of minimum of 20 years imprisonment.

Some of the other major offences for which charges were framed against the accused were under the Sections 302 (murder), 376(m) (endangering life while committing rape) and (n) (repeated rape), 366A (procuration of a minor girl), 364 (kidnapping for murder) and 328 (causing hurt by administering an intoxicant or poison) of the IPC.

All these offences carry punishments ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

Ernakulam rural SP Vivek Kumar IPS, who also confirmed the court order, said that the police team — headed by Aluva Deputy SP Prasad and Inspector of Police Manju Das — did a good job as they were able to wrap up the investigation in 30 days.

“The charge sheet was filed on the 35th day after the crime was committed and charges were framed on the 46th day,” the senior officer of the district said.

He said it would be the endeavour of the police and the prosecution to ensure the trial is completed within a month.

The officer also said that there were 99 witnesses in the case, but it would be up to the court to decide whom all to examine.

According to the police, the accused was arrested by Ghazipur police (east Delhi) in 2018 for attempting to sexually molest a 10-year-old girl there and later came out on bail.

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On July 28, the five-year-old girl was abducted, raped and killed allegedly by Alam who lived in the same building as the victim.

The child’s family too hails from the same state. Her body was found dumped in a sack in a marshy area behind a local market in the nearby Aluva area here the following day.

The accused was arrested on July 28 itself, but could not be interrogated as he was in an inebriated state, police had said.

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